Advertiser is trying to reduce staff via buyouts
The Honolulu Advertiser is looking to reduce its work force through a voluntary buyout offered to both union workers and management.
In a letter to all employees yesterday, Advertiser Publisher Mike Fisch said 86 workers are being offered an early retirement package and that the company hopes to eliminate 30 full-time positions.
"As you are no doubt aware, our industry is changing rapidly and ... we need to adjust our operating plans to match the new market realities," Fisch wrote.
The buyout is being offered to workers who are 55 or older and have at least 20 years of service.
"We've seen a softening of the Hawaii economy over the past eight months and we believe it is prudent to adjust our staffing as we have other expense elements to provide us the flexibility we need to operate our business successfully," Fisch wrote.
He added that "no department will be significantly impacted by this approach."
Wayne Cahill, administrative officer with the Newspaper Guild, said 74 union workers from various unions at the paper were offered the early retirement package.
He confirmed that the union employees are being offered a week's pay for every year of service; medical coverage for three years or until age 65; and two years of service credits toward the pension plan.
"Over the years, we have seen buyout offers," Cahill said. "I don't make a lot of it, frankly. I think the newspaper is doing well and I don't think they are ready to downsize significantly."
The Advertiser's contract with the guild expired June 9 and has been extended, but the company and the union have not yet begun formal negotiations on a new deal.